WORDS are dangerous things!!

by Terry 36 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • WTWizard

    This is what the Watchtower Society is a master at. They distort the meanings of words to make reasoning with them impossible. And they are trying to do the same thing to get the laws changed so their Second Dark Ages can become a worldwide reality (under the guise of the "new order").

  • AllTimeJeff

    Bravo Terry!

    Words matter! How many people get tripped up over semantics in the first place. Terry, you took the next step to show that the value we attach to words in the form of labels often creates more probelms, esp if we assume that we have our labels/words correctly defined as fact. Lets face it, most of us see the world we live in according to the lens of facts. Except often, these facts are nothing more then opinions we have accepted over time.

    Concepts of justice, mercy, god, etc are nothing more to each of us individually then the meanings we attach to the particular words. I only took Terry's essay as a warning to carefully examine the beliefs that engender our words.

    Shazard, I think your own reply proves Terry's point, but I digress, I am not his apologist. The only thing I got from your retort was that you disagree. Which is your right.Beyond that, I saw nothing in your response to give me a reason why your disagreement makes you correct. Cest la vie!

  • Terry
    From the wonderful Joni Mitchell describing clouds:

    Ahhh, one of my life long favorite songs which are more than just "songs"!

    I love her second (later) version. I have to stop whatever I'm doing when I hear it.

    The reverse angle on life is seeing the other side. Ignorance can be bliss, but, bliss is never ignorance.

  • Terry
    Once we label something, we stop actually thinking about it

    Great point.

    Now let's apply that to possibility.

    Word or fact?

    I'm reminded of Aristotle's distinction between ACTUAL and POTENTIAL.

    It is certainly one of those distinctions you simply must be able to make clearly in your own thinking or you'll never make a worthwhile decision.

    A "potential" is, to my way of thinking, playing the same role as the zero plays in "place holding". It is like the empty chair for Elijah at the Passover sedar.

    Take abortion, for example. If you argue you are killing a "person" it is your misnomer which brings about the great imputation of moral culpability. But, if you clearly hold before your mind that an embryo is potentially a person--suddenly the picture sharpens in clarity.

    I remember an arguement/discussion I had with my Physics professor about the nature of "potential" energy. I said there really was no such thing. He argued there was. I tried to clarify to him that he was damaging reality by insisting on his definition of "potential" as an actually existing condition.

    POTENTIAL is the recipe in the cookbook, next to which sits all the purchased grocery ingredients and a hot stove. However, it is not a meal until somebody "chefs" it up into an actual dinner for four.

  • Terry
    Take JUSTICE. I define JUSTICE this way: "Justice is getting what you deserve. This means not getting what you don't deserve as well as getting what you do."
    This is why the religious idea of "UN-merited favor" or Grace is ridiculous. It violates JUSTICE. The guilty don't pay and the innocent do. It turns fairness and balance and such upside down.


    Where does mercy fit in? Is mercy unfair or "unjust

    Justice cannot exist without a sense of values. JUSTICE is value specific.

    Mercy must be value specific as well. Else, it is just a whim or deuces wild.

    In the case of Man and Sin it is a very specifically interesting situation.


    1.Adam/Eve offends God's sense of values about what behavior humans should perform.

    2.God condemns --not just the specifically misbehaving humans to death for the affront against God's values. No, God condemns all of humanity! This is imputing guilt to other parties before they've had an opportunity to misbehave.

    3.God makes certain all humanity will be worthy of condemnation by offering "perfect' laws of behavior which cannot be followed perfectly due to human nature.

    4.God sends either himself in human form or his spirit son in human form (doesn't matter which for purposes of our argument) to demonstrate how sinless behavior can be achieved (if you come from heaven!).

    5.The guiltless party is put to death and the guilty parties go free. (Jesus dies and mankind is "forgiven")

    What's wrong with this picture?

    No Justice and Mercy applied to those who don't deserve it at the cost of the suffering and death of the person who did NOT deserve it.

    It is all so wrong-headed and bizarre!

    Humans still die as though not forgiven (even though they are). Jesus, who paid with his life, gets his life back. Sort of like an indian giver.

    People give money to a good cause and get it back on their taxes. That sort of "sacrifice".

    The values this sort of "Justice" is based on makes my head hurt!

  • Terry
    I guess you did nice job of circular reasoning.

    Interesting is that you start your topic with statements about tripping in dark about reality biting in your ass. And then you nicely goes that something what bites you can be tested by anyone and anywhere. So which one is it... are facts only those parts of reality which actually trip you, or facts and data could be some part of reality which you have never entered so you just dont have information not speaking about tripping!

    You made mistke you were arguing against... You brought down reality to perception! Only now you put mind as the ultimate judge of data and facts. But still data and facts are mind concepts built upon your perception, upon huge amount of different encounters with ass-biting things, but still you can't be sure if this ass-biting thing is really ass-biting thing or you are stupid enough to sit on thorn all the time!

    We only learn by use of our senses. All five of them feed our mind. Our senses are our only link to reality. The rest is brainwork of abstracting from sensory data.

    Let's take germs, bacteria, viruses as an example.

    Humanity suffered the ill effects of germs without knowing what it was that was happening to them. Technology (microscope) had not arrived for the eye to sense the actuality of the source of humanity's ills.

    So, people fell back on what they "thought" they understood: religion. God was punishing them or devils were inhabiting them. They behaved accordingly!

    People who continue to believe in devils and gods or disbelieve in germs (early JW's and current Christian Scientists) behave as though they have a greater access to Truth than everybody else. But, they are deliberately ignorant.

    When Galileo developed the telescope to the extent he could directly observe the movments of bodies in the heavens--the Church threatened him with torture if he did not recant. He asked the church leaders to look through the telescope. When they did--they refused to believe their "lying eyes" over understanding of Scripture. Either the telescope was bewitched or they were being influenced by devilish ways!

    So, the direct answer to your observation is to say humans continue to behave as they always have. You have to drag them kicking and screaming away from their old ways and beliefs and get them to accept the proofs of science.

    Reality really exists. The part you can't see, taste, feel, hear or smell is still there--but, as it impacts you in some way--you tend to ascribe "other" means to explain it.

  • Terry

    The number one warning sign of CULT activity is the redefining of everyday words.

    And, not just cults do this. Advertisers distort by changing and misusing words.

    I want you to look around you and ask yourslef how many times you hear and see the word NATURAL.

    A product which is NATURAL is---what---exactly?

    I know you think you know. But, do you know what the advertiser means when he uses it?

    I heard an advertisement on the radio for NATURAL SPRING WATER.

    I asked myself, "As opposed to what? UNnatural spring water?"

    If something exists in nature; it is natural. Black Widow spiders, malaria, mutants, diseases all are NATURAL.

    Words are dangerous things. Especially when you "think" you know how others are using them.

  • trevor

    In the old Mary Poppins movie the words - Super cala fragilistic expialidocious - were magical. Just uttering them could make the most amazing things happen.

    These fictitious words are still in use and considered fashionable. They can be used to mean anything that you want them to. In reality they are meaningless gibberish but the mind has an amazing ability to accept gibberish as reality.

    People will often deny that they have placed their belief in meaningless gibberish but it is startling to watch the same people say ‘touch wood’ if they have just said that something is going well.

    Try to stop them touching wood and they will start to panic while at the same time admitting that it is a foolish thing to do and claiming they don’t believe it means anything.

    Very few people are fully aware of the power that their word driven thought patterns hold over them. The same word can mean very different things to people and is often the cause of misunderstanding and rows.

  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog


    What's wrong with this picture?

    No Justice and Mercy applied to those who don't deserve it at the cost of the suffering and death of the person who did NOT deserve it.

    Looks to me like you hate the Judge, that would show mercy on some and give justice to those who claim they want it.

  • Narkissos


    So you basically agree with VoidEater: "possibility" is just a word. Absolutely necessary to the working of "reason" but still not a "fact".

    I was referring to your initial axiom:

    only possible things happen

    Actually (!), only actual things happen.

    The additional qualification of potentiality to the actual is conventional.

    It artificially creates a broader and self-referential category which includes both the actual and things that never happened and never will, but, somehow, "might". In Greek terms, being and non-being (as Aristotle acknowledges): the original sin according to Parmenides.

    Formally this is no more and no less provable than any other axiomatical combination of "word" and "fact," e.g. "only just things happen," or, "both just and unjust things happen".

    If you reject (and you may well be right) the Platonic ascription of being to "ideas," possibility, like justice, is just a word. But you still have to use it because, to an extent, "it works," and you couldn't even start to think without it.

    Which means that there is more to thought than "facts". Thinking is venturing into the non-being.

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